Hi, I’m Helle and I’m addicted to candycrush.
Let’s start by being clear about a few things. It’s candy crush, the new version called candy crush soda (try it, it’s fun!) and pet rescue that I play in rotation. It’s not just 5 lives, put it down and walk away. When I have run out of lives in one game I can play the other, and then I move onto the next. That way I can play almost uninterrupted for a few hours.
In the last few months I have not gone a day without playing my games. Even if I’m out until midnight I will turn on my iPad and have ‘a wind down play’. I spend my day waiting until I can sit in the couch and play it. I stop to have a cup of tea and think ‘I’ll just have one game’ (yeah sure!) and I bargain with myself, just one more game then I’ll go do some work.
I now have shame around the fact that I play too much. I have guilt and self hatred and it is having a real negative impact on my sleep, my personality and my life.
My real trigger to stop was when my son told someone that ‘Mum is always on her iPad’.
I’ve decided I’ve had enough. It’s time to own up to this and deal with it. The negative feelings I have about myself just have to stop. And – dammit – I need my time back!
So from tonight or maybe I should start tomorrow? I am going to lock away my iPad – I’m going to go cold turkey.
I have a few strategies I have been working on to help me:
- Admit it. To myself and to everyone else. That is what this article is about.
- I’m going to start with the goal of a week. If I can last a week I will increase it to a month.
- One of the main trigger points for me happens after dinner. Sitting on the couch after the kids are in bed, ready to relax and hubby is watching reality TV. I hate reality TV. What a waste of time (says she who has just admitted to wasting hours on a computer game – I know that’s rather ironic!)
- I have some alternatives. I have a long list of work I can do, from simple tasks, to doing the accounting (heaps of fun!) I have a gorgeous cardigan that I have been knitting (well, not knitting) for ages. If I really can’t cope with the reality TV shows. I’m going to go to my room and read my book!
- I’m going to tell hubby. I’m sure he will help and support me. He hates that I spend all my evenings on my iPad. I’m sure we can watch a good TV show instead of a reality show. (Truthfully we could now too, but I choose not to ask because it’s a great excuse!)
So day one, I talked to a friend who was positive and encouraging. All day I was a little worried, could I do it now that it came to the crunch? When it was time to sit on the couch (trigger point moment) I spent an hour stalking people on Facebook, and pinning ideas on pinterest, but no games.
Day two was encouraging with a lovely message from my friend and a dinner out to help distract me. I’m on a roll!
Now I’m up to day three, I have hardly thought about it all day, except to think how good I feel. I’m sure I am sleeping better, and I have replaced shame with a bit of pride. I wanted to stop and I have. I didn’t want these games to own me any more and I feel like I am breaking free.
I can now see that they are just games, they were only significant to me because I made them more than they should be. As I sat on the couch tonight there was a moment when I thought, ‘a few games would be good’ but then I decided to write this update instead.
Update at day 9 without playing any games: What seemed so hard when I started has been so rewarding and, although it was not easy, it was easier than I thought it would be. I have achieved so much with the extra time in my day. Where before I didn’t have spare time for fun things, I now do. I am sleeping better, achieving more and am happier.
Having a friend to encourage me and celebrate with was the key for me. Tonight with my spare time I might write her a thank you note.
Do you find your time is eaten up with playing games or can you control yourself! Please share in the comments below.